Lebanon's Latest Ploy to Disarm Hizbollah -- A Fake Out --- And How Should We See Hizbollah?
Tonight, 7 August 2006, the Lebanese government [which includes two Hizbullah ministers] made a proposal that sounds good. But it is a fake out. Lebanon's cabinet offered to send 15,000 Lebanese army troops to the south --after calling up reserves-- in order to prevent Hizbullah from retaking its positions in the south from which it was driven out by Israeli army forces. All this on condition that Israel first withdraws from Lebanon. However, Security Council resolution 1559 mandates that Lebanon disarm Hizbullah. This resolution was passed a few years ago, yet never implemented by Lebanon. Maybe Lebanon was unable to do so. Nevertheless, its international legal responsibility was clear as a UN member state. Anyhow, if Lebanon wants to honestly fulfill that resolution it can start right there in Beirut, its capital. It can disarm Hizbullah in Beirut and in the Biq`a [the valley of Lebanon] too. If Lebanon's army would do that, then it would not be necessary for Israel to attack Beirut. Otherwise, Israel will have to continue to attack in Beirut when necessary. Further, the demand that Israel withdraw first before Lebanon's army will go south is fake. It's just too disingenuous. They pretend not to understand that Israel has no good reason to trust either Arab governments or the West. And certainly not the UN. The concomitant Lebanese demands concern Har Dov [the so-called "Sheba'a Farms"] and the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel.
First, Har Dov was controlled by Syria before the 1967 Six Day War. It is not and never was part of the modern Lebanese state. When Israel withdrew [mistakenly] from south Lebanon in 2000, a UN surveying team certified that Israel had withdrawn from all of Lebanon and that Lebanon had no claim on any more territory held by Israel. The Har Dov ["Sheba'a Farms"] issue was invented by Hizbullah in order to justify continuing the struggle against Israel which is in fact meant to destroy Israel. It is and was simply a pretext. What right do the US, France, and the Security Council have to disregard historical fact and the finding of the UN's own appointed experts, by including Har Dov in the cease fire proposal??
Second, the prisoners held by Israel are criminals [including terrorist murderers]. They cannot be compared with the Israeli soldiers held by Hizbullah. Further, Hizbullah operatives/warriors are unlawful combatants under international law. What right do the USA, France and the Security Council have to disregard international law by equating the Lebanese prisoners held by Israel with Israeli soldiers??
We will have more to add to this post tomorrow. Meanwhile, readers may want to read the text of the Hizbullah's founding declaration together with commentary by Ami Isseroff at the link. Isseroff's commentary is interesting and informative, but I disagree with some of his points.
UPDATING: It has been reported within the last hour in Israel [before 6:20 pm Israel time, 8-8-06] that prime minister Olmert has called the Lebanese proposal described above: "interesting." Thus, Olmert proves once again that he is not fit to be prime minister of Israel. By the way, respected political commentators Dore Gold and Carolyn Glick have already explained why the French-US cease fire proposal is bad for Israel. Yet Olmert and his teen-age prom queen [without the beauty] foreign minister, Miss Tsipi [= birdbrain] Livni, have failed to audibly protest the French-US draft proposal, which is defective and harmful to Israel on various points, such as "prisoner exchange" and Har Dov. [Carolyn Glick's articles are available in Hebrew with a one week delay here.] Usually, it is considered harmful to change a leader in the middle of a war. But Olmert's damage is too critical to let him continue. Send him back to being a lawyer for millionaires suing other millionaires.
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Coming: More on the Hizbullah